South Scotland

Barony College confirms staff at risk amid 15% cuts

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Image caption Students attending Barony College study agriculture, animal care and veterinary nursing

An agricultural college in the south of Scotland has said it needs to cut staff in order to make savings of 15%.

However, officials at Barony College said they hoped to keep any compulsory redundancies to a minimum.

They added that there would be a major restructuring programme and a cut in student places to make the savings.

Students attending the Parkgate Campus in Dumfries study subjects including agriculture, animal care and veterinary nursing.

The announcement comes after neighbouring Dumfries and Galloway College said 37 posts were at risk as it tried to meet a £1.1m budget cut.

Management at Barony have begun consulting with staff over voluntary redundancies, although the exact number of staff affected is not yet known.

In previous years Barony was known to take in more students than it was funded for because of high demand.

'Staffing budget'

However, the institution said that it would now limit its intake to the contracted number.

In a statement the college said: "Barony College, like every other college in Scotland, is facing severe cuts in funding for 2011/12."

The statement added that the college was receiving record levels of applicants for next year but that student places would be reduced.

It added: "If possible, the college aims to maintain its breadth of curriculum but will have to close some courses and limit places on others.

"Inevitably one area of expenditure that will have to contribute to the savings required is the staffing budget.

"The college management are currently in consultation with staff representatives over restructuring proposals.

"The college hopes to keep the number of staff redundancies to a minimum and is proposing a voluntary redundancy scheme in the hope that any compulsory redundancies will be keep to a minimum."

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